Thursday, August 15, 2013

Southwest Terror Fest Roundup (Goya, Napalm Strike, Sovereign, Sorxe)

It's almost that time of the year again, when the Southwest Terror Fest rears it's ugly head and lays waste to Tucson, Arizona on October 10th through the 13th. So since the Old Pueblo's annual metal party is going down in just a few short weeks from now, so we figured it would be a good time to do a round up of some of the new bands playing this year. Garviel Loken turned on his magical Internet Machine and scoured the nether regions of Bandcamp for some of Arizona's up and coming scumbags. Go check these bands out on their respective pages, then come check them out in person and let them fry what little hearing you have left. We guarantee you won't be disappointed. The Arizona scene is a force to be reckoned with, and these guys certainly deliver. We'll have another edition of this in a couple weeks too, but for now, let's get to the bands...

Goya "Demo"

Hailing from Phoenix, Goya are firm disciples of distortion glazed stoner doom. With this five track, live recorded demo, Goya delivers syrupy dirges with tripped out atmospheres that would make Electric Wizard proud. Tracks such as the jaunty Blackfire and the epic Night Creeps show Goya's penchant for plumbing the depths of sludge and groovy heaviness for maximum effect. This demo recording is on the high end of quality for being a live one, and gives a listener a great idea of what Goya might sound like in the live show setting. To top it all off, the band creates this big wall of sound with just three members, a true power trio. Goya should definitely be on the "bands to watch" list for the Arizona scene, a full length studio album from them could be a game changer for doom in this state.

Rating 8/10

Goya on Bandcamp

Napalm Strike "Demo 2013"

Roaring out of Tucson, Napalm Strike's three song demo is a study in crossover thrash metal. Taking the energetic elements of 80s thrash and blending them with hardcore punk, Napalm Strike will instantly be a nostalgic reminder to many listeners who grew up in that era. However, Napalm Strike isn't trying to ride on the coat tails of what has come before, but working to continue the tradition and build upon it. Their music has a modern energy to it that also brings a much needed element of fun and tongue in cheek humor back into heavy music. Napalm Strike delivers the goods with good musicianship and while their demo has a somewhat one dimensional sound to it, for an initial recording it more than gets their musical point across. Just listen to the final song Mass Extermination, Napalm Strike has what it takes to hang in the thrash world.

Rating 7/10

Napalm Strike on Bandcamp

Sovereign "Knives Coated in Pitch of Terror"

From somewhere in Arizona, black metal practitioners Sovereign have released just one teaser track from their forthcoming album and it is a pretty impressive taste of what is to come from this band. This slightly less than five minute tune is a great example of well rounded black metal that focuses on being about the actual music and not just a gimmick. The songs gallops and delivers pummeling riffs while maintaining a sense of dark, creepy melody that rears it's unholy head throughout the entirety of the track. The musicianship is excellent and the vocals are some of the best to be heard from any band in the Arizona heavy music scene. Want more music from these guys? The only way right now would be to check them out at a live show until they release more music, which hopefully is not long in coming. 

Rating 8/10

Sovereign on Bandcamp

Sorxe "Realms" EP

Sorxe of Phoenix is definitely bringing something different to the AZ music scene with their "Realms EP". A surprising and refreshing creation that can best be described as experimental grunge metal, Sorxe knock it out of the park with their eclectic but absolutely crushing sound. Sorxe builds powerful songs with tight, circular rhythms that provide a stable platform for their musical shape shifting. The opening track Creeper Beast is a great example of their overall sound, as it shows how Sorxe go from doom to grunge to the Mastodon level of epic with clean vocals that are catchy but not cookie cutter, just plain awesome. This band is simply not afraid to mix it up and seems to let their collective musical instincts take them down whatever path beckons. The result is a compelling musical journey that takes a listener through different sonic textures that go from quiet to loud and everything in between.

Rating 9/10

Sorxe on Bandcamp

Southwest Terror Fest Facebook Page

Southwest Terror Fest Event Page

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